Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Math Refresher for Adults ~ a Crew Review

math skills, pre-algebra, geometry, homeschool math

Over the years I have heard a lot of moms bemoan the fact that they have forgotten a lot of math (or never learned it well in the first place) and are now a bit concerned about being able to help their children with math. While most of these have been homeschooling moms worried about teaching math, I've heard it from public schooling parents too. That's why I was interested in reviewing the new Math Refresher for Adults book from Math EssentialsBecause no one should be afraid of math! 

Math Refresher for Adults covers everything from basic addition up through algebra. One of the best things about this math book is that is has accompanying videos for each lesson where you can watch Richard Fisher (the author) work the problems on an electronic whiteboard while he describes each step. That means if you think of yourself as being math-phobic you can learn math in the privacy of your own room, on your own computer or tablet, with headphones - and no one will ever know. :)

For the rest of you, choosing to use Math Refresher for Adults may be a wise choice for the summer before you return to college - to practice for your placement test. Or you might want to brush up on your math skills before applying for a new position, or asking for a raise at work. 

For myself, I wanted a chance to exercise those parts of my brain that have not had a workout in a while. There are some parts of algebra you just don't use much as an adult. I've also read several studies that say learning new skills can help ward off dementia. While math isn't new to me - I used to enjoy working story problems a lot - I don't use algebra very often at work - so I figure reviewing math is almost like learning something new. Plus - it means I can shut myself away in a quiet room for 15 minutes a day, several days a week. That is a blessing at the end of a long day spent dealing with the public. :)

So how do you use Math Refresher for Adults? It is a 270 page softcover textbook. If you're wanting to use it to review math to help your 4th grader with long division, but your high schooler wants to use it to study for their SAT, then you can use it as a traditional textbook and copy the problems onto another piece of paper to give yourself plenty of space to show your work. If you are like me, and just want to use it yourself, you can write in the book for most of it, and only copy out the more advanced pre-algebra and algebra problems. You CANNOT photocopy the pages, as that breaks copyright laws. 

math skills, pre-algebra, geometry, homeschool math

I like that this book includes the basic arithmetic functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, as well as basic geometry and several sections filled with story problems before you get to the pre-algrbra and algebra sections. Each lesson has at least one story problem down at the bottom of the page, wisely named problem solving instead of story problems to help those people who have mental hangups with the term story problem.

So how else might you use this book? There are a lot of ways, but what about this: your child comes home from school (or co-op) and says, "Mom - help me, I can't remember the difference between area and perimeter!" Ahh, see, you weren't even the teacher, but somehow you are expected to know the math answer. Yup - that happens in thousands of homes every week! You grab your Math Refresher for Adults book off of the shelf, turn to pages 89-97, find the geometric shape they are working with, and log into your videos on the Math Essentials website. Now in just a few minutes you can choose the correct video, watch it with your child, and then you can BOTH feel confident that they can tackle their homework. Most of the videos runs from 2-5 minutes in length, and are focused on one specific piece of the math puzzle. 

Now doesn't that sound easier than trying to randomly search the web for the correct answer? Yes, yes it does! 

Oh, and if you're still a bit confused about decimals - don't be - there are several lessons about decimals in here. Plus, some lessons on percentages - you know, so you can figure out just how good of a sale your store is having on that dress you've been eyeing all summer! You're welcome. ;)

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